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TPG Week 65: When Logic Fails, Everything Fails

| March 23, 2012 | 32 Comments

Welcome once more to yet another fun-filled installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a returning Brave One in LJ Wright. Let’s see what LJ brings us in

 

World’s Together

 

 

PAGE ONE (six panels)

 

1. A large panel with an establishing shot of two equally sized planets very close together. (I take it you don’t really care for their appearance apart from their relatively similar size. Since there are people living on both of them, I’ll assume these are Earth-like planets. However, if you read this column on a weekly basis, you already know how much I hate to assume anything. And how close is “very close”?)

 

CAP/John: The scientists say the planets are moving further apart. This time may be the last they are this close. (This isn’t the usual way captions are headed, but everything’s there and you keep it consistent. Nothing to say against it… except naming the guy John. You’ll see why later…)

 

2. A shot of people from John’s planet looking up and seeing other people above them on Susan’s. The people from each planet wave at one another with friendly gestures. Kids on both sides seem particularly excited. (This is a very interesting shot. It’s an imprecise shot but it’s interesting. If your artist is any good, I’m sure he’ll find a way to depict this, otherwise you’ve just lost him completely. Where should the camera be? How far out should it be? How much people do you actually want to show? Then there’s the question of how many people can actually see each other and that depends on the curvature of the planets’ surfaces which brings us back to the issue of the planets’ size. Lots of missing details for such a complicated shot.)

 

CAP/John: How odd it was, when I was young, to see upside down people. And they went by so fast. (No, it wasn’t. Young people take everything at face value. That’s the beauty of having no experience. Everything is full of wonder, and as such, everything is normal. Logic hole, LJ. The second of many.)

 

CAP/John: They taught us in school it’s all in the rotation speeds, but I never understood. Planetoid physics was (“were” not “was”) never my forte.

 

3. A small rocket like space ship is shown between the two planets as they are a little farther apart than the first panel. It looks to be breaking apart. (The following caption is the only indication that we’re now in a flashback and it’s a nebulous one at best. I don’t think anyone would pick up on the planets being farther apart. I think most people are going to be confused by the inconsistency. In order to prevent this, I’d keep focusing on the present instead and take out the caption. Maybe show some people on the tip of their toes, holding flowers in the air.)

 

Caption: The Fisson Shuttle Incident.

 

CAP/John: It’s always felt strange to me that when the planets are so close we can see and even touch one another, but it’s that same closeness that somehow stops us from traveling between the planets with their gravitational pull. (This line seems to drag on and on. Split this sentence in two. To make sure if flows well, try saying it out loud.)

 

CAP/John: A flower can pass from one hand to another, but an actual ship or person never can.

 

4. A fantasy image of a shadow woman from the top planet grabbing a shadow man from the bottom planet and beginning to pull him up. They look like outlines of John and Susan. (You’re asking for stylized silhouettes of characters we haven’t even seen yet. How should the reader understand the significance of the people in this panel?)

 

CAP/John: Old folktales talk about how people could go from one planet to another, but that remains legend.

 

5. A wide shot of John standing amongst a large crowd of people. Everyone is here to say good-bye. Some of them are simply waving good-byes, but others have excited children propped on their shoulders to try and hand flowers, while others actively try to shake hands or other gestures of good-bye and good luck on tippy toes. (Here’s the problem: you have a main character who is also the narrator, we’ve been reading captions in his voice for half the story (yes, this is only two pages long so we get to that milestone quicker) and it’s only now that we finally see him. And to add to this problem, we see him in the middle of a crowd. Until now, we’ve been sitting back, having the story told to us instead of seeing characters LIVE it. Furthermore, everything up to this point is nothing but exposition. You are starting way too late, LJ. You’ve set the difficulty level pretty high when you decided to make this two pages long, especially for a science-fiction story. With sci-fi, you can’t fold back on people’s normal expectations for background information; you NEED to build the world in front of their very eyes. I’m afraid two pages is cutting it a bit short for this. That’s why you ate up half of your page count already and your story is now barely starting for real. It’s also why you seem to panic on page 2 and scramble to tell your story in what space you have left, leading to a whopping 10-panel grid. What’s saving you is that it’s a very intriguing premise, otherwise people would be skipping page 2 and starting the next story in the anthology. And, where is “here”? What does it look like? Is it a grassy plane? You don’t say, so the artist has absolutely no idea.)

 

CAP/John: It will be strange, if the scientists are right, to never see this place so close again. They talk like the distance may be good for finally traveling between planets, but I’ll be gone by that time.

 

6. A close up of John looking off panel with shock overcoming his face.

 

CAP/John: I always find myself coming to this spot when the planets are together. Not just for the usual greeting and good-bye, but some childish hope that I’ll see…

 

(Page 1 just ended. This is usually the moment when I remark that we still don’t know the main character’s name. This holds true once more except this time I don’t think the name is even relevant to the story. Looking ahead, I see that you never name either John of Susan. But then again, why would you? Apart from the fact that this comic contains absolutely NO spoken lines, the story would be exactly the same whether John was named Jack, Jill, Cornelius, Zomglubit or 4682. In fact, you should just do away with “John” and “Susan” at this point and just call them “Man” and “Woman”.)

 

At the end of the first page, half the story is done, and we have a complete cluster on our hands.

 

Logic. Logic is killing this entire story. I love me some fantasy, but even fantasy has internal logic to it.

 

Tangent time, since I have the space.

 

I absolutely LOVE watching b/w sci-fi. Old Buck Rogers movies, and the like. There’s one that I particularly like: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. Rocky flies the Orbital Jet, and like most b/w sci-fi of the 40s, some of the caveats are that it completely disregards physics in some instances, while relying on those same principles in others.

 

One of the Rocky Jones movies is called Crash of Moons. It tells the story of two moons that orbit each other, and are connected by an atmosphere chain. (See where I’m going with this?) There is no planet for them to orbit, and they swing around the universe as they swing around each other. Right off the bat, there’s physics because the moons are connected by an atmosphere chain, and they aren’t close enough to see individuals from the surface, but at the same time, physics is ignored because they don’t have a steady power source, such as the sun, to ensure life.

 

There is absolutely no way I can see this story taking place. If the planets are close enough that people can touch, then there is no industry. No large plant life, such as trees, either. I’m 5’9”. Let’s say that I can reach 8′ (monkey arms). Now, on the other planet, in order for a flower to pass, the other person must be within reach. With me so far?

 

Outside of a storage shed, how many buildings do you know are 8′ tall? It is a given that a single-story building is 10′ tall. How many 10′ trees do you know of? So, no tall buildings, no tall trees…and no mountains. This is a flat, short world.

 

What is the need of a rocket ship if you could basically pole vault to the other planet? It makes no sense.

 

This story stopped making sense in panel 1. The only thing keeping these planets together is magic. Are they spinning? You know, that whole gravity thing? Our planet’s rotation seems slow, but that’s because we’re rather large, as well as following an orbit. If there was another planet on top of us, and both planets are spinning, then people wouldn’t be touching or passing anything for fear of losing their hands. Being so close, their masses should have pulled them together, destroying them both, or making a new planet, shaped like a contact lens container, or a baby snowman.

 

I’m all for making things up. But if you’re going to do sci-fi, you have to have science in your fiction. There’s no science here. Just fiction. Just magic.

 

Folks, when you do science-fiction, you have to become a junior scientist. Physicist? No. Electrician? No. Do you have to know how everything works? No. But you cannot just make things up wholesale and call it a day in this genre. Always assume that readers are as smart if not smarter than you are. This will keep you on your P’s and Q’s. There are so many problems with this that it’s astronomical. (See what I did there?)

 

I’m not that smart. And if I can pick it apart by being a junior scientist who isn’t that smart, just imagine what a smart reader will do to it.

 

As of panel 1, this is crap.

 

 

 

PAGE TWO (ten panels) (Page break. And once again: TEN panels? That’s going to be a VERY crowded page!)

 

1. A close up of Susan from John’s point of view (so she should be upside down). She looks a little aged, but not nearly as much as John does. (To be honest, we don’t know John’s age so this information is rather useless.)

 

CAP/John:…her.

 

2. A shot from the ground looking up to see a younger John looking up at a younger Susan reading a book. (We have the same problem here as we had with the silhouettes earlier: how are you going to make clear that these are the same characters, considering that the reader barely knows either of them.) This will be from John’s fading memory, so the crowds that usually gather for this event are rectoned out by him, and it is only him and her. (So this is more of a memory than a flashback? You’ll need to show this in some other way. With your “25 years ago” caption, you firmly establish this panel into the story’s reality, leading the reader to believe that the place really was deserted 25 years ago.)

 

CAPTION: 25 years ago.

 

CAP/John: It has been so long ago I began to think it was a dream. I never saw her again after that day.

 

3. A close up on Susan back in the present, she’s spotted John and her eyes widen at seeing him. (Are every panel in which Susan appears upside down? Consistency would require that you specify it. Furthermore, since you’ve never described the planets as having different races, clothing styles or architecture, panel orientation is the only way we can differentiate on which planet the action is taking place. How are is the reader supposed to know this is back in the present?)

 

CAP/John: She still looks so young; they age so slowly up there.

 

CAP/John: She probably doesn’t even remember me…

 

4. A wider shot of Susan as she begins to run through the crowd on her planet toward John. (Where’s the camera? Is this a side shot? Is she running away from us or towards us? But more importantly, is this still upside down?)

 

CAP/John: Is she really coming towards me or has age finally taken my mind and all this is just my imagination? (Long-winded. Rewrite this with fewer words or split it up.)

 

5. A zoomed out shot from the side as John and Susan are in the process of running on their respective planets, trying to get to one another. (Perfect camera angle making for a great image. Bravo on this one!)

 

CAP/John: I know I’ll look like a fool doing this if I’m wrong about her intention, but…

 

6-7. Two thin horizontal panels with very tight close up shots of each of the character’s feet as they stand on their tiptoes; Susan’s on top and John’s on the bottom. (You have ten panels on this page. Are you sure you have room enough for these two? And if you scrunch these panels up and do “very tight close ups”, the camera is going to be so close to the action we won’t be able to understand what we see.)

 

8. A close up of Susan and John meeting in a kiss. (I know this is a beautiful image and it might not be the moment, but I just had a horrible thought: if people can actually kiss each other from one planet to the next, how many of them actually knock themselves out by accidentally banging their heads together? Do tall people duck? Are there psychopaths preying on the other planet’s denizens, holding a scythe or a weed wacker over their head? What about trees and mountains? Are buildings being grinded down to the ground floor at every revolution? How many deadly accidents as people get decapitated by low branches, clothes lines and children’s monkey bar sets? I guess double-decker buses are out of the question too, never mind any actual air transport like planes, helicopters and air balloons. Ridiculous? Maybe, but the pragmatic end is that these questions have just taken us right out of the story and they are going to pop up, no matter how poetic and allegorical you intended this comic to be. You can be poetic all you want once you’ve made sure the story and the world it’s set in actually make sense. For examples of poetic works that didn’t sacrifice logic, look up Neil Gaiman (the SANDMAN comics and his numerous short stories) and Jim McCann (RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN).)

 

9. A shot behind John’s shoulder as he watches Susan quickly moving away from him like she did all those years ago. (Which is something we’ve never actually seen in this script so the artist has no reference for this shot like you seem to imply. Unless it’s a classic case of extraneous prose?)

 

CAP/John: There is an old legend that says a kiss between those on each world brings the planets closer. I have long lost belief in legends and fairy tales…

 

10. A close up shot of both John and Susan from their respective views of one another (John normal and Susan upside down) side by side without any gutter between them. Susan holds a hand to a smiling face, and John smiles a sad little half-smile. (You folks have been slacking off for the last three weeks with the Journeymen scripts. Time to wake up! This one is up for grabs: what’s wrong with the way this panel is described?)

 

CAP/John:..but now I hope they contain truth.

 

The End.

 

My head ‘sploded. Oh, wow. This, LJ, is terrible. “Bad” was passed at the concept stage, and it hit terrible on P1, p1.

 

It’s page 2. We have 10 panels that are going to be very difficult for the artist to pull off. Remember, the more panels, the smaller each panel has to be. And then you have the captions to deal with. Your artist is going to hate you.

 

Alright, let’s talk about logic again. How old are these two? No, let’s step back a bit. Get down to the base of things. We measure our time in planetary revolutions: our planet revolves, and and as it revolves, it also revolves around the sun. This gives us our days and nights, as well as our seasons, which in turn gives us our years. This is how we measure time.

 

How do these two planets measure time? Especially for one to somehow age slower than the other. Are they measuring time differently? I’m not getting it. Again, I said I’m not that smart.

 

Next: he’s been going back to the same spot for 25 years? To catch a glimpse of a woman he’s only seen once? Love at first sight on his part. Gotcha. I can live with that. Almost. Maybe. But here’s what gets me: what happened 25 years ago that warrants this headlong rush to a Spider-Man kiss? (You DID say they’re upside down to one another.)

 

Here’s my problem: he’s been going back for 25 years, and she hasn’t. She doesn’t care. Her actions (or lack thereof) tells me this. This means she shouldn’t be trying to rush through anything.

 

Even if they measure time differently, if she cared (for whatever reason), she would have been there whenever the planets were close, because it is a regular occurrence. So of course she doesn’t care: nothing happened to make her care, which is why she didn’t show up.

 

Nevermind how they suddenly got close enough to kiss. On average, women are shorter than men. That means the planets just got a whole lot closer for the spider-kiss, buildings are no more, and lots of people died in the ensuing destruction.

 

Know what? Let’s run it down.

 

Format: Could have been a flawless victory, if not for the page breaks. Format is easy, LJ. There’s hardly ever a reason anyone should NOT get a flawless victory for format. You just have to be consistent (you were) and put in page breaks (you didn’t).

 

Panel Descriptions: They need a LOT of work. You don’t adequately describe things for the artist, so they can’t do their job. Vagueness leads to questions or assumptions, neither of which is good for a comic script. Who, What, Where, When. I don’t think you answered all of those in one instance in this script. Terrible.

 

Pacing: Terrible. Six panels on the first page, and ten on the last. Too much backstory, not enough forward progress. You slip back and forth in time, leaving the reader as well as the artist wondering. If you had paced this better, the story would have been that much more enjoyable.

 

Dialogue: Captions, captions everywhere, but not a sound to be “heard.” No one speaks a line in this entire piece. Sure, it’s only 2 pages, but you could have put actual words in people’s mouths. Instead, you opted to “tell” the story to the reader, having them leaning back, rather than having them engaged and sitting forward by having actual dialogue to read.

 

Content: This is enough to make my head ‘splode, and not in a good way. The story has no logic to it. Things happen because you want them to happen, instead of following the dictates of the story.

 

I understand you’re no astrophysicist. It’s still no reason for you not to think your story through. The impossibility of the planets, the gaps in logic, and the forcing of events all make this a terrible story from a reader’s perspective. As soon as the reader sees two planets basically close enough to touch, suspension of disbelief gets defenestrated, as does logic.

 

From an editorial standpoint, you got lucky. Disclosure: this story has been accepted into an anthology before being submitted here. I wouldn’t have accepted this. It would have been properly round-filed, and you might have gotten a generic letter saying thanks but no thanks, keep on trying.

 

I hate generic rejection letters. They’re totally unhelpful. However, that’s how bad this story is. A rejection letter for this would be a mercy.

 

As it stands, this story (to me) is unpublishable. It has central conceits that are impossible without magic, and except for Intelligent Design, there’s no room for magic in science. Since they are integral to the story, the story itself is unpublishable.

 

No, this isn’t savable by my standards. Can it be rethought and redone? Like I said, I’m not smart, so I don’t see how. The very core of the story would have to change. Like I said, I think LJ is extremely lucky for finding a publisher for this.

 

And that’s all there is for this week. Check the calendar to see who’s next.

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Category: The Proving Grounds

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

Comments (32)

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  1. “Can it be rethought and redone? Like I said, I’m not smart, so I don’t see how. The very core of the story would have to change.”

    How’s this then?

    This is still taking place on two different planets. The planets are orbiting around the same sun. For most of the time – like centuries – they’re too far apart for even communications to be possible. In fact, they are so far apart that it would take more than a lifetime to travel from one to another. However, for the last 50 years, the planets have reached a point in their respective orbits where they’re now close enough for these people to meet in the middle. This is the first time that technology makes this possible and scientists on both worlds – after finding out contact was possible – have been working tirelessly for the last half-century preparing a mission to allow their two people to finally meet. The plan is to build two spaceships designed to dock together, forming a new permanent structure colonized by their two people – the start of a new spacefaring mixed civilization.

    In this story, John and Susan (I’d change the names) are two scientists who have been working together – each on their respective planet – to bring this project to fruition. Over the course of the last 25 years, they’ve been in contact, climbing up the hierarchy of their respective research teams, culminating with being very close friends now in their 50s, but still light-years apart.

    Until now.

    Both of them are part of the First Meeting mission and they are going to meet for the first time. Both are very excited since this strange friendship has somewhat blossomed into love in the last few years. However as the ships meet, there’s a technical problem – or maybe the mission was sabotaged by a jealous coworker who was enamored of one of them – and the docking procedure is a failure. Instead of staying together, the ships forcefully disengage, tearing apart the structure. As everyeone scrambles for escape pods, John and Susan must make a choice: do they save themselves or risk death meeting for the first and possibly last time?

    What I’ve sone here is take your 2-page poem and stretched it into a short comic – 8-12 pages – maybe a full 22-page one-shot if we lay it on thick with splash pages of cosmic vistas. Now we have science backing our fiction: the explanation might not be airtight but it’s plausible in a Star Trek kind of way (that is, it can be explained away with convincing techno-babble). We also now have a plausible explanation for John and Susan risking mutual decapitation. They now have a history together and time enough to develop a meaningful relationship. We can show the young twenty-something interns just starting to chat in text-based one word-an-hour programs at the start of the project while they’re talking in real-time video in their 50s when they’re heads of project. Most importantly, that means we’ll have dialogue! And if we have actual exchanges instead of just John’s captions, it also means we’ll have better characterization for Susan so she’s not just there to run and kiss John.

    We have a plot, characterization, drama, dialogue, a consistent world, internal logic, evolution, a climax and an ending – in short: we have a story.

    And we kept the same core idea: two people who have one last extraordinary chance to meet.

    Heck, LJ, if you don’t want to write this, I will!

  2. 10. A close up shot of both John and Susan from their respective views of one another (John normal and Susan upside down) side by side without any gutter between them. Susan holds a hand to a smiling face, and John smiles a sad little half-smile.

    (You folks have been slacking off for the last three weeks with the Journeymen scripts. Time to wake up! This one is up for grabs: what’s wrong with the way this panel is described?)

    I’m taking a shot at it.

    “A close up shot of both John and Susan from their respective views of one another (John normal and Susan upside down) side by side without any gutter between them.”

    She couldn’t have moved to far from panel 9, since this is the tenth panel so this can’t be a very large image.

    And no gutter where? Between the tops of their heads? Or their faces? First few times I read the panel I was picturing them, profile, face to face, but now I’m thinking crown of head to crown of head. Since they were on the tips of their toes. Actually they’d need to be taller to kiss… so maybe, when not on the tips of their toes, they’d actually be, nose to mouth?
    Its also not clear if they are even facing one another, since panel nine is so vague, we don’t know if she was taking a step backward, or completely turned around walking away.
    In which case panel 10 is Johnny looking into the back of Susy’s head.

    I think this story concept could be reworked. Have the plants be close, but not so uncomfortably close. Maybe so that they can see one another with a telescope, or binoculars.
    Have John be secretly admiring this stranger from afar. Always watching her, not in a creepy way, but like I said, admirer. Have her take notice of him as well, and develop relationship between the two. Less time building the back story of the planets, and more time on the love story.
    Maybe the have silent meals together, watching one another while eating, or playing a board game, or putting ‘Casablanca’ on at the same time and watching it together via telescope.
    Then, in end, have John some how arrive on her planet, and say his first spoken words to her; “I love you.” Because even though they were worlds apart, they found each other.

    Though I guess you wont need to do any of that since it found a publisher already…

  3. Damn Yannick beat me! His suggestion turned the story into a full one-shot, mine stretched it maybe into four pages lol.

    And for the ending of Yannick’s.

    “As everyeone scrambles for escape pods, John and Susan must make a choice: do they save themselves or risk death meeting for the first and possibly last time?”

    John decides no piece of ass if worth dying for, and hops in a pod. While Susy, being a hopeless romantic, dies in space, her blood boiling, and her face bloats up like Arnold in ‘Total Recall.’ It may not be realistic, but its still cool.

    • “John decides no piece of ass if worth dying for, and hops in a pod. While Susy, being a hopeless romantic, dies in space, her blood boiling, and her face bloats up like Arnold in ‘Total Recall.’ It may not be realistic, but its still cool.”

      Conner, you are a horrible person and must now explain to my boss why my keyboard is filled with hot chocolate.

  4. 10. A close up shot of both John and Susan from their respective views of one another (John normal and Susan upside down) side by side without any gutter between them. Susan holds a hand to a smiling face, and John smiles a sad little half-smile.

    (You folks have been slacking off for the last three weeks with the Journeymen scripts. Time to wake up! This one is up for grabs: what’s wrong with the way this panel is described?)

    Connor brought up a lot of good points on this panel but there’s one thing that’s bothering me (and it might be on my end)

    “A close up shot of both John and Susan from their respective views of one another”

    This, to me, sounds like your describing two VERY different views. One of John looking at Susan and one of Susan looking at John. Is this a profile shot of the two of them looking at one another? Or are you trying to do a split panel? If so you just don’t have the space for it (or to do it any justice) on a 10 panel page.

    Sometimes, when I have a moment that I think is extremely important in a script I draw out the page. Not in detail because I can’t even manage stick figures, but giving the individual panels the space you want them to have on the page and then try to imagine the detail you want in each panel will better help you paint the picture for your artist. Can you physically give these moments the space they deserve? In a comic so heavily reliant on narration and image story telling instead of dialogue you don’t want to leave EVERYTHING to your narrator. Tell more of the story by creating beautiful panels that convey exactly what you want by giving them the prominence, not a corner on the bottom of a 10 page. And don’t smush them.

    This would have been lovely as a profile single panel, page width at the bottom. To ‘summarize’ your page so to speak. You’d have to sacrifice some panels somewhere earlier on the page but for dramatic moments you want to do that. Or making two panels that look at each other with gutter between to emphasize both the closeness and separation between the two of them.

  5. LJ Wright says:

    Well, I knew the story had a good deal of problems, mainly due to the length I had to work with, but I wasn’t quite expecting ‘terrible’ and ‘bad enough that only a generic rejection letter will do.’ It was a heavily ambitious idea that could go really badily, though I guess I didn’t expect how badly I apparently did with this one. For reference, the pitch was what was excepted first, and I did my best to deliver in the two pages I was allotted. The anthology magazine in question though seems to having a lot of problems, so I’m not sure if this (or my other story) will actually see print after all.

    Also, I guess I’m just going to have to show my ignorance here and ask what exactly you mean by ‘page breaks’. I thought that was just separating the pages out (like clarifying pages 1 from 2), but now I’m assuming this is probably some technical thing within Word?

    I have some earlier classes, but I’ll comment more to some of you guys specifically when I get out.

    • LJ Wright says:

      I meant to say accepted there, in place of excepted

    • Page breaks are when you force your word processor to skip ahead to the beginning of the next page. Usually, this is when you press Ctrl+Enter on your keyboard (with Microsoft Word at least).

      That way, it’s easier for the artist to work with the script. Since they work on one page at a time, they can detach that part of your script and concentrate on it with no risk of skipping to another page by mistake.

    • It’s a technical break in the pages (auto jumps where you assign the break) so in printing/reading you will only see content for p1 on a single continuous page-2pages. When page 2 comes is ends that page and continues on a new sheet.

      In word (on Mac – I can tell you the PC version when home on my PC)
      Insert>Break>Page Break

      Make sure your cursor is ahead of the text you want to be broken to the next page. If it’s after, it will break after. (obvious point, but maddening if you don’t think about it.)
      There are some shortcuts out there but I’ve never bothered to learn them. To be honest I write my scripts pagebreak-less and break them at the end in one fell swoop.

    • Sorry to hear the magazine is having problems. It isn’t any excuse about not being a junior scientist, though. The central conceit of the story would not let it be approved by me. The pitch for this must have been a hell of a good one, but even still, I don’t think I would have bought the story because of the impossibility of the situation.

      As for page breaks, do this: go into Word, and at the top, click on Insert. There should be a Break there. Click on that. After you click on Break, it should give you an option for Page Break.

      A page break will keep its place, always. So, let’s say you’re on Page 3 of the script, but actually on the seventh page of scripting. You’ve inserted page breaks, so that the words Page 3 don’t appear in the middle of the page. Now let’s say you have to go back and add more info to P2, which will take you to the ninth total page of scripting. You can add as much info as you want, and the break will always be there, keeping Page 3 at the top. It will always be easy to find, and no one will go hunting for it.

      It also sounds like you haven’t read my B&N about scripting. I suggest you do. It’s somewhere within the first 12 installments. Probably around 6 or 8.

      And if the instructions for page breaks that I gave don’t work, use the Help button and search for it.

      • LJ Wright says:

        No, I haven’t. I forget exactly when I started reading your B&N column, but I want to say it was probably around the 30ish area. I’ll go back and read that, though, definitely. Thanks for the page break explanation. I guess I should’ve asked that a long time ago and not just assumed it was something so obvious.

  6. DonU says:

    To throw some idiot logic at this (I have lots of idiot logic), you could say that the two worlds are ground flat where they are closest. If the two worlds revolved consistently around each other at the equator, you would only need to move a few hundred miles north or south before you could have multi level buildings again.

    There might be too much emphasis on making this a science fiction story when it’s clearly fantasy. I couldn’t help but picture “Le Petit Prince” while I was reading the script (I’m sure Yannick has read this). The script needs help, but the logic part shouldn’t be a problem provided it’s treated as purely a children’s fantasy story (in which case the story may not find a market since children represent one of the smallest cohorts of comic book readers).

    • You raise a good point, Don. However, it should be pointed out that the tone or purpose of the story was never posited. Those would have been crucial informaiton for both the artist and the editor.

      Besides, if the writer devotes a whole panel to “The Fisson Shuttle Incident” and metions scientist working on the problem, you’ve got to admit it sounds a lot more like science-fiction than St-Exupéry’s tale. The Prince lived on a minuscule planet, big enough for only him and a rose, and we accepted it because the author took care to never even begin to explain away these incongruities.

      The moment LJ started talking about orbits, scientists and shuttles, he introduced scientific plausibility and now it had to make sense all the way through. You can’t go halfway into sci-fi territory.

    • Fantasy works. It is the only way this would work. As soon as you try to be “real”, the story falls apart, written as is.

      Even if the story were technically perfect (panel descriptions, pacing, dialogue), it would still fail on logic. That’s the biggest thing to fix. Everything else is just nitpicking, really.

    • LJ Wright says:

      I did bring up scientists and such, but it was more so to create an internal system for the world itself, but as Yannick and Steven point out, it would probably just work better to leave that out and let it stand on its own fantasy legs, especially since there’s no room at all to explain things that are brought (such as how buildings would be set up in this universe). But, yes, Donu, that’s exactly what I was going for. And it’s interesting that you bring up “Le Petit Prince”. I wasn’t using that specifically as a reference or anything like that, but I just happen to pick that up recently and was re-reading it.

  7. LJ Wright says:

    I do want to personally say thanks to Steven and everyone who commented on this with suggestions. Kind of in-between classes right now, but I’ll sit down and read them all later in the evening. I think it’s fair to call this one a bit of a dud, but maybe I can clean it up a little with all this editing, even if I’m still a little limited. Next time!

  8. Liam Hayes says:

    I like mad Daliesque story worlds, so I enjoyed the premise of this story.

    It might work better in a fantasy world where you needn’t conform to logic as much.

  9. Lauren S says:

    Excepting the format issues, (10 panels on 1 page wow!) I thought the story itself was nice. What it needs is a few more pages to develop the story. I think this would be almost impossible to draw.

  10. I really like Yannick’s re-telling of the story. And good luck LJ. I’m wondering if it’s possible to tell a sci-fi story in two pages, especially one that involves world-building and characterization. One option may be to focus on one character at a time, and tell a separate story (2 pages or more) for “John” and “Susan” before bringing them together in a larger story. This may allow you the opportunity to still tell stories lasting about a few pages, while also giving you the opportunity to flush out your world, and what parts of your world you want to have central to your story. Just a thought.

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